At times we find salesmen trying to force us into buying goods we don’t need. At times, we buy out of pity or overwhelmed by the pressure; at times we have the temerity to turn down the offer.
Simply put, a hard sell is a heavily pressurized and highly persuasive approach to sell a product. The main purpose is the salesman’s gain at the customers detriment leading to a win lose outcome to one of the parties. It is also known as high pressured selling.
In contradistinction, a soft sell is the promotion or interpersonal sales technique that is canalized into building reputation, integrity and relationship with the customers. In this regards, there is a “win win” relationship for both parties.
On the other hand, the hard sell involves the use of strong arm tactics and the application of psychological pressure to persuade the prospective buyer to make a quick decision e.g. the use of the words limited offer, bonanza, etc.
A business may apply an admixture of the two to promote and grow her sales but on the long run, it is the soft sell and repeat buying from the customers that has gained satisfaction that can guarantee growth because of the “win win” out come to both parties.